Leaving home is hard. Leaving home means that we are separating ourselves from what we know best: our friends, our families, our routines. Spending time in a new place, or worse, leaving home for good, means that we open ourselves up to insecurities.
And when we leave home, there is always a counter-voice in the back of our minds. It asks, “When you come back, will it be the same? Will I be able to get back into my old routines? Will my friends be there, and will they be the same?” As humans, we crave normalcy, patterns of existence that give peace in an otherwise unsettling world.
In the midst of these patterns, this normalcy, Jesus happens. Jesus calls his followers away from their homes and their work. Jesus calls his followers to “go into all the world and preach the gospel.” When Jesus called those men and women to be his followers, he did not want them to remain the same. This must not have been easy for the disciples. They knew that the instant they dropped their fishing nets and followed him, they would be different. In my mind’s eye, I always picture a slight hesitation, a pause that gripped the disciples, when they first heard the call. “If I go, will I be different when I come back?”
Leaving home, then, is maybe not so much about things around us changing, but fearing that we are the ones who might change. When we leave home and experience new things, we change. This is simply the fact, and blessing, of leaving home. Things will never be the same.
My prayer this week is that we are not the same people who left. God is calling us to a new and different place, a place of work, worship, and community. If through that experience we are left untouched by the Holy Spirit, then I’m afraid we have committed ourselves to Another.
So when you leave home, don’t come back the same. Come back with a new experience, a different point of view, a memory. Then hold that in your mind with the Holy Spirit, and allow it to mold you into a different person. A newer, and wiser follower of Jesus.
Question for reflection: How is God calling you to change?